As a mother of teenage boy, getting ready to enter into a brand new world called high school, I’ve not only had to deal with the transitions of bodily changes, but mental, and physical changes as well.
My Mr.Cool has been so resistant to what I see as the easy way to do things, but of course, at 14, you feel like you pretty much got life downpacked and all situations that come with it.
Its hard to tell them why their close friends in reality suck, why balancing home, school, family, friends, and extracurricular activities like sports are important, and why versitality in truth is beneficial. TlBut really, they know it all (rolls eyes).
While this week has proven to be such a challenge for me because of how much I’ve had to get on his case for what I feel are redundant conversations and reminders of every little, big, and in between thing. I have to remind myself that kids will be kids and all they ever need is patience, consistency all around , love and of course a good amount of sturnness to keep them focused.
Don’t get me wrong, I trust the process of how I’ve raised him and I do believe that sooner rather than later, he’ll get the reason why I stay in his case. I do make the reasons clear, but of course you know a few little reminders don’t hurt. Although I’m practicing TRUST, ACCOUNTABILITY, and INSISTING as our focus words for the past year, with those heavily weighted adverbs. My end is to allow growth and space through increments of independence to be given.
Of course he’s not in jail or anything, but realistically speaking, he is sheltered and has grown up in a much more positive environment than where I’m from. It has its pros and cons, but nonetheless, the cons are the reasons for the strictness.
Now, today I had to do my deep breaths, and meditation to release the feeling of defeat when I get into that mode of feeling like a failed mommy. After the constant quarreling after the kids to get them to do what they hear me say every single day, my frustration drove me straight into a break wall mentally. As a result I had a throbbing headache for days.
After releasing the negativity, talking to my son as the oldest, to remind him that I need him to start showing me the young man I’m raising him to be, and looking back through my thoughts when I’ve calmed down a little, I assured myself that I am doing an amazing job. Positive affirmations definetly work wonders. But as far as consistency is concerned, at this age, all consistency teach any child, especially teens is what standards are set for them at the level they are at.
If you begin to fluctuate and change your standards, your teen will not only take your rules, guidelines, or standards for a joke, but they’ll start to unconsciously recreate their own. And this reconstruction you definitely won’t like. So here’s some ways to stay Consistent with your teen that works for me:
#1 Consistency Begins With Setting The Tone Early
I won’t say you can’t just now start and their already half way to legally being an adult, because it’s never really to late. Buuuut, for me, it should start early. That way the foundation of your do’s and don’ts are already set with them. Any changes that will need to be tweaked as they get older, you definitely do, but it will be much more easier to adapt to. How early, you might ask? As soon as they can walk and talk. Again, you develop along side their development.
#2 You Can’t Ever Get Tired of Parenting
there is no such thing as parenting without constant communication. It may sound and look like nagging, constant reminders, boot camp drills, lectures, family round table meetings, etc… This puts the consistency into motion so that it never dies and stays with them. Everybody is different so some people may be more vocal more often than others, but it’s more than OK. It’s necessary. Please don’t overkill, you don’t want your child to feel like you don’t love them, and that’s why you’re always yelling. No. Communication should always verbalize, clarify, and serves as a lesson. Nothing more or less is needed.
#3 Follow Up and Follow Through
Discipline vs. Punishment is the topic of discussion here. Since we’re talking about teens here I’ll say this concept is more so the most important. Punishment doesn’t work for teens. I believe the lesson it’s supposed to teach will get lost along the way because they’ll be more caught up in their dramatics. Not the fact that they caused it.
This part is tricky, but discipline teaches them a lesson. It breaks down the how’s, why’s, when’s, and where’s without the blunt force of any sort. With the discipline, should come the levels of consequences if standards aren’t upheld. For example, if there was an issue at school and it’s not fixed on the first offense, now you’ve lost a privilege like your phone for a day, and when you get a positive report that everything is good, then it gets returned.
The more changes aren’t made, the more severe the consequence should be. It should never just jump straight to a punishment. Again, it serves to break down not build up. Whereas consequences allow for room to self correct, learn and build. Not break down.
Of course, the teenage years are the trying years. Patience, amongst consistency is needed more than ever. I’ve learned so much, just in my sons pre-teen years, and for the experiences that allow me to grow as a mother, I appreciate. The most important thing I take into my parenting, is the values I was instilled with from being raised by my mother and grandmother, and the values that I’ve developed as a mother of three.